Hi, Summer. I recommend playing guitar to everyone, keeps you young. Don't you agree?
My doctor refers to this as "the fibroma of old age". There is a thickening of the connective tissues and you grow lumps. Happens to everyone. But thickening is relative, are my thicker tissues thicker than a 20 year-old with thick tissues? Like what's faster, a fast runner or a fast driver? It's all relative.
The real issue is you can't get away with things the way you used to. The example I like to use with my students is my desk top. There are six ways to stay organized. One way is to have a pile of of stuff and just be able to reach into the pile and grab whatever you need. We all know people like this. The problem with this method is eventually the memory quits working on that level and it doesn't work anymore. As a 50+, I think I must have that thing they're all talking about, what was it, CRS? So, you have a life based on remembering where you left things and suddenly you can no longer remember where you left things? Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all...
And you can really
hurt yourself. The human body becomes fully mature around age 25, I call it "the ripe tomato". You can get away with things up to about age 27. After age 34, the body begins to stop replacing things. This doesn't get to be a problem until you are around my age. I sprained my ankle last fall and it is taking forever to come back. In high school, it would have been eight weeks, now it is eight months. This is why we listen to our old teachers, because they are the survivors: if we expect to still be playing at age 50, the time to develop "good" habits is before you are susceptible to injury, not after you have ended your career, supposedly. Life is full of surprises.
But I love
being this age. Now, if my back just didn't hurt and I didn't get so stiff... Maybe I should do some stretching, yoga. Yeah, yoga is cool thing to do, all those healthy, happy people wearing tights, I could do that. Naahhh, a couple tylenol and I'll be fine, why people keep taking Vioxx...
And the other thing, the nails get thinner and there's nothing you can do about it, according to my dermatologist buddy. Maybe vitamin-E oil topically and biotin orally, they say. But I had thin nails to begin with, that is annoying. Maybe I'll switch to electric. Not really, still having too much fun with classical. Segovia was 96 and making a comeback, I still have a few years left.
Kevin Collins, Amherst, Mass, USA All rights reserved.